5 minutes with Rob French
What's your favourite bible passage & why?
One of my favourite bible passages is John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
Firstly, there is something absolutely awe inspiring and revealing about the character of God and his love for creation. This love saw him take it upon himself to enter into the brokenness and mess of the world to restore, renew and reconcile all things to himself
Secondly, it tells us something of how we should go about participating in God’s mission. Simon Carey Holt in his book God Next Door: Spirituality and Mission in the Neighbourhood, puts it this way, “The story of the incarnation is the story of God en-fleshed in a particular place at a particular time and within a very specific community. So too for us, the call of God is to be in a particular place and there to embody the presence and grace of God. It’s a call to locality.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
This takes a number of forms including,
Bible reading & prayer – I often read associated commentaries/books along with the bible. This year I have also been reading a book that has taken excerpts from key writings throughout church history. I have especially enjoyed using a book on prayer this year, Prayer: Forty Days of Practise by Justin McRoberts and Scott Erickson. It is a book of prayers along with images.
Podcasts – Sermons, lectures, interviews
Mentors – I have found mentors to be extremely helpful in constantly pointing me back to Jesus, helping me to reflect and process experiences and to see where God is at work.
Community – I’m a hyper-extrovert, so I love being around people, hearing what God is doing in their lives and being encouraged by other peoples’ stories.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women and men to know?
I’m going to go with someone who is way smarter than me and has had a huge impact on me, NT Wright. His book, Surprised by Hope, was huge for me, this quote comes from it.
“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbour as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom.”
What's one thing that you love about your local church?
We have a strong emphasis on being sent ones, understanding ourselves as God’s agents of hope in his mission. Practically this means being engaged with the community seeking to love and serve them.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
That God often uses the people around us and community to help us in difficult times.
What are you passionate about?
People knowing Jesus & photography.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?